Lobe piercing at Perforations in DC
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I may be a legal adult, but my parents still think they control
me. It's very hard for me to tell them that this body is my body, and that my decisions are my own. So I have waited a long time to make any changes or additions to my body, and I have had a long time to consider them.
My earlobes were first pierced when I was nine months old, at the
doctor's office. He used a gun, and I wore the same pair of earrings (after the gun stud) for many years. I didn't really notice my earrings much until I was in late elementary school, when my friends wanted to get their ears pierced. I gloated a little, since mine were already done. But they were something I didn't have to hassle with, they were healed and I had always taken them for granted. When I was in high school, I went through a period of time when I resented my mother taking the decision to have them done away from me. I had decided at that time that I didn't want to wear jewelry, and I didn't want holes in my ears. It was a short-lived phase. Then I wanted more holes.
Due to the conservative and controlling nature of my family, those
holes were not obviously forthcoming. I did my own nipples and outer conch, but removed those because of having to live at home with little privacy. So I made the decision that I would strive for my personal freedom, and be patient enough to get my holes when I would be free to have them. This took a long time!
I asked my mom a few times if she would "allow" me to get a second
lobe piercing in each ear, and each time, she would put me off. She would remind me of how my dad feels about "these things" (negative feelings, of course), and warn me not to do it without their approval. She predicted an ugly reaction from my father if I asked, and scared me out of approaching the matter for a while. But finally I got the courage and asked him. He said, "Sure, why not?" I was amazed. Moreover, I was ecstatic. I started making my plans -- where to go, what jewelry to get, etc. I had done my research for a few years, and felt very prepared and knowledgeable, thanks to r.a.b., BME, and Tashi at Perforations in DC. All three had provided me with invaluable information about all aspects of piercing.
I ordered the jewelry (two 1/2", 14 gauge CBRs for the new holes,
and two 1/2", 16 gauge CBRs for the old ones) from Skin-Deep (you just can't beat a $5 CBR), and tried to quell my growing impatience. My order came in under a week, and I called to make my appointment at Perforations the next afternoon. I wanted to see Tashi, since she had always been very good about answering my questions in the past, and she had done an excellent job with my friend's navel. But she wasn't working on the day I wanted to go, and so I had to make a decision. The two remaining piercers were Fish and Aaron, and both had pierced a friend of mine. I felt I had enough testimonials from my friend to their skills to go with either of them. So I made the appointment anyway.
I rode the Metro into DC in the pouring rain. I was accompanied
by three people -- my boyfriend, the friend who had the aforementioned metal by Fish and Aaron, and a third friend who was just coming along for the entertainment. They were interested in being there for me, but also in seeing my reactions throughout the procedure. I honestly claim a reasonable tolerance to pain, but I know they really wanted to see me squirm, gasp, and break down. When we finally got to the Mount Vernon Square station, I could feel my nervousness increasing. I can shove a needle through my own flesh easily, but the idea of someone else doing it makes me jittery. But the butterflies in my stomach were eased by the several-block detour we were forced to take around a new construction site blocking the direct path from the station to the studio. Walking through the muddy puddles and dodging traffic took my mind off of things. I got there only five minutes late, and was greeted by the disinfectant smell and background buzz that you only really experience at a place like Perforations. A large blonde man walked up behind the counter, and asked if I needed assistance. I knew he wasn't Fish, from my past trips to the studio. I told him that I had an appointment, and he asked me a few questions about my plans for the piercings. Then he said, "Hi, I'm Aaron, and I'll be your piercer today." He gave me the usual paperwork, and I gave him the CBRs I had brought along to sterilize. My friends sat down in the waiting area and looked through the flash, magazines, and other literature, and I diligently wrote down my last meal, prescription drugs, and other information. I paid and got my aftercare sheet, and then he showed me back to his cubicle.
My friends leapt up and followed me back. They couldn't all fit
inside, so two had to stand outside the curtain, peering around the doorway and over the top of the divider (I have tall friends). Aaron lined up all of the ominous-looking equipment on his chair-side tray, and pinned my hair back with two very attractive pink clips. Soon he had it all together, the gentian violet in the little cup, the toothpick, the dab of yellow disinfectant, the needles, the cork, the jewelry... everything. All in all, between the chair and the tray, it was much like the dentist. He disinfected my ears and asked me about placement. I told him that I was looking at 1/4" or so back from the existing holes, and he made his preliminary marks with the violet. He told me that one of my lobes was thicker than the other, but that they should look fine. He let me look, and I approved. Finally, Aaron made his final check, comparing the two ears, and decided that it looked good.
He had me lean back and told me to breathe in through my nose and
out through my mouth. And I did. This is the usual way I prepare for needles at the doctor, anyway. As I exhaled, I felt the slight sting of a needle going through my right ear. But it didn't really phase me. What was a little less comfortable was the needle coming out and the ring going in. My friends were very disappointed that the expression on my face didn't change. I'd attribute it to a combination of the piercing not really hurting and a little bit of stoicism. So I was ready for the second one. Same deal, except my acquaintances could see better this time. During the pause when he picked up the CBR, one of my friends was staring at my ear. "How does that look?" I asked. "You have a needle through your ear with a cork dangling off it," she said. "I think you should wear it like that," my other friend chimed in. But then the ring was in, and it was almost over. Aaron popped the beads into the rings, and let me look. I was very happy!
"Was I gentle-handed enough?" Aaron asked. I told him that he
was, and thanked him thoroughly. I dug through my wallet while my friend asked him about a keloid on his industrial, and gave him a tip with another very genuine "thank you." I walked out, beaming, back into the rain. I realized once I was outside that I was shaking a little, and then it really hit me that I had finally gotten my ears pierced again. I bought my saline solution for cleaning that night, along with some 50mg Zinc tablets to aid healing, and have tried to be diligent about aftercare.
I feel that this is the doorway to more piercings, and also a
little more freedom. My parents expressed to me their feelings about this, that they don't like it aesthetically but realize that it was my decision. This is a huge change from their usual attitude! All in all, the experience is something I will never forget or regret.
Sara (Elsbeth) firstname.lastname@example.org
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 May 1999
in Ear Piercing